Money laundering and terrorist financing risk management in Albania continues to decline – Exit
Albania has been classified 39th worst countries for the risks of money laundering in the world. This is according to the Basel AML 2021 index.
The report, released annually, ranks countries from 1 to 110, with one being the most problematic. Albania ranks alongside Cuba and Turkey with a score of 5.72, with ten being optimal.
The most at-risk country in the world is Haiti, with a score of 8.49, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritania, Myanmar and Mozambique.
The least risky country in 2021 is Andorra, with 2.73 points, followed by Finland, the Cook Islands, Slovenia and Norway.
Albania has deteriorated over the years, ranking 44th with a score of 5.69 in 2020.
In its 10th edition, the Index is an annual ranking that assesses threats of money laundering and terrorist financing. He is mainly interested in the capacity of judicial measures to combat them. The overall average score is 5.22 out of 10, which means that Albania is below average.
Basel Governance said the results “raise serious questions about whether jurisdictions are serious in tackling the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.” They asked what was preventing them from doing it.
The main issues highlighted by Basel include a lack of response to threats posed by virtual assets such as cryptocurrency. The report found that most jurisdictions have lowered their scores for managing the risks posed by virtual assets and virtual asset services.
Governments were also urged to engage in effective prevention, and not just law enforcement. They lamented that although many jurisdictions have laws in place, they are ineffective in practice. Plus, there isn’t much in place to prevent crimes in the first place.
“These results should sound the alarm bells for policymakers. Courts should invest more resources in prevention, without reducing resources for law enforcement. “
Other issues included a lack of transparency regarding the ultimate beneficial ownership of legal entities and vulnerabilities beyond the financial sector. This includes lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, and other stakeholders.
Basel insisted that “at a minimum, more supervision is necessary”.
In 2020, Albania has been demoted to the FATF gray list. The list includes regimes with the worst legal framework and institutions to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The countries of FATF gray list are Albania, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Ghana, Iceland, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, Zimbabwe. Trinidad and Tobago dropped off the list this year.
In the 2021 In the US State Department’s report on Albania, they found that no significant progress has been made in the fight against money laundering and financial crime in recent years.
He called the country a “major destination for money laundering” and said there was no real progress in tackling the problem. The report notes that this is due to corruption, weak legal and governmental institutions and the prevalence of organized crime networks.
Albania was also listed by the US Financial Crime Network as a country with “strategic AML and CFT deficiencies”.